Tomasz Oleszak exhibition match: Gateshead FC to host memorial for young Newcastle United fan after tragedy

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Friends of Tomasz Oleszak will play a match at the prestigious stadium in a tribute event for the 14-year-old.

A memorial match to honour Tomasz Oleszak, the 14-year-old who died after a suspected stabbing in Springwell, will be held at Gateshead International Stadium this weekend.

Players from Gateshead Cleveland Hall, the club where the young Newcastle United fan played his football, will play on the pitch in an exhibition match. The game will feature players from the under-15 squad, which was Tomasz's team before his untimely death.

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Other members from the club will be providing entertainment at half-time, act as mascots and be ball boys during what is set to be a moving event. The match is being facilitated by Gateshead Football Club and tickets can be purchased online here for £2.

Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Robert Waugh will be present at the event. He said: “This promises to be a very emotional day for everyone involved as Tomasz’s death has had a profound impact on not only those who knew him but the wider Gateshead community. It’s really important that people have this opportunity to come together and remember Tomasz doing something he loved to do with his friends and teammates. However, there is also an important message that we need to remember - everyone has a right to feel safe in their local community.

“It’s crucial that we keep talking about the dangers of knife crime to raise awareness of how devastating it can be and try to prevent a tragedy such as this from happening again.”

Emergency services were called to the Springwell Estate in Gateshead at around 8 pm on Monday, October 3 and found Tomasz with an injury caused by a bladed article. He was then taken to hospital, where he passed away in the early hours of Tuesday, October 4. A 14-year-old has been charged with the murder and will next appear at Newcastle Crown Court in the New Year.

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Fourteen-year-old Tomasz Oleszak sadly died in the early hours of Tuesday morning (Photo: PA)Fourteen-year-old Tomasz Oleszak sadly died in the early hours of Tuesday morning (Photo: PA)
Fourteen-year-old Tomasz Oleszak sadly died in the early hours of Tuesday morning (Photo: PA)

After the tragedy, a vigil was held in Springwell and schools received specialist mental health support. Tomasz's football coaches also set up a fundraiser which has raised over £26,000 to help support the teenager's family.

Writing an update in the first few days of receiving support, organiser Paul Howson said: "We never imagined how far this would go, we know it won't bring Tomasz back but it will give his family some support in a time they shouldn't have to be living right now. Please keep sharing and supporting we are so humbled by you all."

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